Thursday, September 30, 2010


Brilliant advice to someone - anyone - with more ambition than I:
Sell Dems a class in marketing/messaging
Dems have far BETTER narratives than the GOP.
Economy? Cite Krugman.
Everything else? - cite the Constitution.

Somehow Dems just don't get this.

Again: there's $$$ to be made SELLING a very basic marketing class to DNC, DSCC, DCCC - just put together a few PowerPoint slides telling 'em how to SELL their policies.
It's not that hard.

... and, oh yeah: THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT!!!

... maybe I'm too pessimistic...

In response to previous post, one commenter suggested I've been too taken in by media narrative...
... and in a slightly different context, a correspondent has suggested that he is somewhat more optimistic than I, predicting that
1) most of the Tea Party candidates lose,
2) Dem’s remain in control of both houses,
3) all three of our current local NM congressmen remain
(My reply hinted that I was somewhat less sanguine than he, and suggested that I expected him to endorse existence of Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny... he didn't object.)

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Private Buffoon welcomes Jake Skyles at CrazyBone as a loyal reader!

Hey - thanks, Jake!
Welcome to the neighborhood!!!

Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People
I'm pretty sure we ain't doin' it:
Pakistan halts NATO supplies to Afghanistan

Dozens of NATO oil tankers attacked in Pakistan
Great! - we've pissed off our erstwhile Pakistani allies!

Please, someone! ANYONE!
Tell me why we're still in Afghanistan!!!

I'm pretty sure I've said this already... BUT...

... just in case.

Yes - current crop of Dems are less-than-desirable...
... BUT: they're a WHOLE HELLUVA LOT BETTER than GOP alternatives!

VOTE on Tuesday, 2 November 2010!!!

this is just fun...

Okay, I really tried to stay silent regarding Christine O'Donnell's Senate candicacy... but this is just too much fun.

First, from Think Progess:
O’Donnell So Fervently Pro-Truth That She Wouldn’t Lie To Nazis Asking If She Were Hiding Jews In Her Home
Yep - O'Donnell is so committed to the truth that she'd have given up Jews to the Nazis!

... BUT: she's more than happy to LIE about her academic credentials (via TPM):
Claremont Institute Tells TPM O'Donnell's 2002 Resume Listed Oxford University
... for those of you who haven't been paying attention, TWO "professional networking" websites in O'Donnell's name have included references to her completing courses at Oxford (England) and Claremont Graduate University(California). Neither claim is true. In 2006 she claimed an undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson - also not true.
[She WAS awarded bachelor's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson in September of this year... after 1) paying tuition, and 2) completing a required course.]

Ordinarily the peccadilloes of politician's don't engage me all that much... but in this case:
Yes, she'd give up Jews to the Nazis so's not to abuse her truth-telling conscience!


She's more than happy to LIE about her academic credentials in pursuit of political ambition.
Go figure.


AP sources: Emanuel leaving White House on Friday
I'm not a student of WH "chiefs of staff", but I'm of the opinion that Emanuel has been THE WORST WH Chief of Staff EVER!
... at least I can cite Obama's failure to vigorously pursue his stated campaign objectives as evidence.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

apologies to loyal readers...

... i've just been somewhat less-than-motivated to post.
(upcoming election and anticipated results are simply too depressing...)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

just for grins...

UNM: 10, UNLV: 45.

The 4th straight humiliating loss of the season.

The UNM coach, Mike Locksley, is paid $750K/year.
(... oh, yeah: he was 1-11 last season!)

Must be sort of the like the 'wizards of Wall Street' - performance is immaterial to compensation.
Just show up, you'll get your $$$.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My preferred Dem alternative to the GOP's "Pledge"

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
[note: I claim no originality for this alternative!]

Thursday, September 23, 2010


From TPM:
House Dems Also Punt On Upper-Income Bush Tax Cuts
"Dems punt".

... Dems fold, Dems cave...
When will it end?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Angle Suggests Free Market Could Solve Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

Everybody: LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!

First: yeah, the 'free market' did wonders BEFORE passage of watered-down health insurance reform.

Second: Anytime ANYONE cites the "miracle of the market" - LAUGH OUT LOUD!
Keep it up.

New Mexico in the news

Chimps' future prompts debate over NM primate lab

The Base's Hissy Fit

From the ever-wonderful Tom Degan over at The Rant:
"The Rant" by Tom Degan: The Base's Hissy Fit
As one of my occasional readers once pointed out:
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."
And as my very favorite military commander said:
"A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later."
[Gen. George S. Patton]
Yeah - current crop of Dems aren't all that great...
... BUT!!!
BUT: they're ALL a whole helluva lot better than the GOP alternative!!!

So: VOTE in November!
Don't stay home in protest.

Elections really DO matter.


Why do we fail?

Why does the GOP obstruct?

Why are we progressives frustrated?

Why do Dems fail to lead?

Why does our President fail to lead?

We are, all of us, deeply, profoundly afraid.
We all - even the so-called 'loyal opposition' - all of us see the bright future...
BUT: we are afraid to take a first step.
The unknown fearful ocean confronts us.
What lies beyond the horizon is evil and fearful.
We have accustomed ourselves to fear.

What if we fail? What if... ???

We are - all of us - deeply, profoundly, AFRAID.
We fear the future.
We fear each other.
We fear ourselves.
We fear hell.
We fear heaven.

There is no other explanation for our failure.
We are afraid.
We fear.

Is that all there is?

Bette Midler's in-studio performance of the Lieber & Stoller/Peggy Lee classic.

too hard or too easy?

i'm not sure if progressive blogging is getting too hard or too easy.

too hard? - just way too much wing-nuttery to keep track of... o'donnell, angle, miller, paul... + so-called 'mainstream' GOP (McConnell, McCain, Boehner)... all of 'em going for party over country.

too easy? - see above.
daily doses of disgusting behavior from so-called 'loyal opposition'.
where to start?

me? - i've taken the easy path: ignore it all.
far, far easier to worry about deficiencies of English language!

have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

just curious

I think of English as a rich language, with words and constructions derived from lots of languages...

... so how come the best English can do for adult romantic involvements is "girlfriend" and "boyfriend"???
It's simply absurd that my retired friend, a UNM professor, is constrained to call his significant other his "girlfriend".
It is simply absurd that my adult friend's male significant other must be called her "boyfriend".

"Girlfriend" and "Boyfriend" are well-suited as descriptors of high school romances... but NOT of adult relationships!
Can't English do better?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Smart Secrecy vs Stupid Secrecy

This is just fun, from Wings Over Iraq:
I'm speechless
Can you spell "paranoia"?

just for fun (G&S)

Our neighbors are currently in Australia, where they've tickets to Opera Australia's production of The Pirates of Penzance. Here's a vid from the production:

The Pirates of the Caribbean/Johnny Depp influence is sort of fun... and offers the promise that G&S will continue to be relevant well into their second century!

someone else's eloquent summary of current affairs

Friend Nance over at Mature Landscaping has this to say (all of which strikes me as obvious, and leaves me convinced that our esteemed leaders are either blind or evil.):
Mature Landscaping: What's Right On What's Wrong

Just a reminder...

... from friend Woody over at Well-Armed Lamb:
The Well-Armed Lamb: X : You Are Here

Some H.L. Mencken quotations

In previous post I referenced
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
Turns out this is a paraphrase of an H.L. Mencken quotation:
“No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
The same website that provides this reference also includes the following pertinent H.L. Mencken quotations:
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth.”

“Evangelical Christianity, as everyone knows, is founded upon hate, as the Christianity of Christ was founded upon love.”

“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.”

“The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe.”

“We must respect the other fellow's religion,but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

“The truth that survives is simply the lie that is pleasantest to believe.”

“Old age ain't no place for sissies.”

“The plain truth is that I am not a fair man, and don't want to hear both sides.”

“To expect defeat is nine-tenths of defeat itself.”

- [aside: this could be the Dems' motto!]

“Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.”

“The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.”

“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

“Imagine the Creator as a stand up comedian - and at once the world becomes explicable.”

“The kind of man who wants government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.”

“If you want peace, work for justice.”

“Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”
... okay, there are a lot more, but I'm getting tired...

... based on these nuggets I might just seek out a volume of Mencken's writings!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

hmmm... maybe I'm a 17th-er...

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
[17th Amendment, U.S. Constitution]
This replaced the original:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof...
[Article I, Section 3, U.S. Constitution]
Given the Angle (NV), Paul (KY), Miller (AK), and O'Donnell (DE) candidacies, I just might support repeal of the 17th Amendment...

... of course that assumes, as the Framers did, that state legislators would be upstanding persons of conscience, acting in good faith.
Not quite sure that formulation works.

Tho' I hope that the people of Nevada, Kentucky, Alaska, and Delaware REJECT the GOP loons (those would be Angle, Paul, Miller, and O'Donnell), I'm somewhat less than sanguine regarding sanity prevailing.

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is there no way...

... to convince the electorate that THIS is the direct result of GOP policies?
Census: 1 in 7 Americans lives in poverty

Lost Decade for Family Income
... From the 1st article:
Analysts said the full blow of lost incomes was cushioned somewhat by increases in Social Security payments in 2009 as well as federal expansions of unemployment insurance, which rose substantially under the economic stimulus program.
That's right - the reason things aren't worse is because of DEMOCRATIC policies that the GOP fought AGAINST tooth-and-nail!

And W's contribution? From the 2nd article:
The inflation-adjusted income of the median household—smack in the middle of the populace—fell 4.8% between 2000 and 2009, even worse than the 1970s, when median income rose 1.9% despite high unemployment and inflation. Between 2007 and 2009, incomes fell 4.2%.
Why are just ordinary folks even considering voting GOP???

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm old enough to remember...

... when Newt Gingrich was considered an intellectual heavyweight (at least by some).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

remembering 9/11

"Where were you...?"

Once upon a time the question was, "Where were you when you learned that Kennedy was shot?"
[I was in Miss Benninghoff's 6th-grade classroom, Barnard Elementary School, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The principal, Mr. Shepherd, came on the intercom around 1:45 p.m. to announce Kennedy's assassination. School was dismissed.]

Today? "Where were you when you heard about the WTC attack?"
I was on the smoking patio at work, about 9:30 a.m. I might have been the only person who had not witnessed the event on the morning news. When folks were talking about planes flying into buildings, I pictured a single-engine Cessna.
Back at my desk I went to a news website to learn the details.
I immediately emailed my wife, who was in Novouralsk, Russia at the time.
She'd already heard. The house-keeping staff at her hotel had constructed a small altar with lighted candles to honor the dead.
(This was when the whole world was with us, and W was acting magnanimously... it wouldn't last.)

Work was not cancelled, though the company put up a big-screen TV in the cafeteria to keep us informed.

Nine years later I'm watching college football.

observing 9/11

On this 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I'm watching college football.

That I feel no guilt about this - and that LOTS of folks are joining me in this activity, guilt-free - is testament to our victory over bin Laden.
No: 9/11 did NOT change everything!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Uh-oh: I agree with McConnell (no snark)

As reported by HuffPost", Senate Minority Leader McConnell today issued this statement regarding the Dove Outreach Center's planned book-burning event:
While I will defend any American's First Amendment Rights, our generals in the field tell us that the men and women defending those rights would be endangered as a result of this stunt. If this group insists on going forward, I would hope that members of the media will not reward them with what they crave most: news coverage.
I even like his use of the word "stunt"!

Winning hearts and minds

From HuffPost:
U.S. Soldiers Allegedly Killed Afghan Civilians, Kept Body Parts As Trophies
Curtis M. Wong
First Posted: 09- 9-10
A dozen U.S. soldiers are charged with organizing a secret "kill team" which allegedly murdered Afghan civilians at random and cut fingers and other body parts from corpses as trophies, according to new documents released by the U.S. military.
More from McClatchy: Stryker brigade soldiers allegedly kept 'trophy' body parts.

Winning hearts and minds.

Tell me again: Why are we there???

Outsourcing war, joys of

From ABC News via HuffPost:
Exclusive: Whistleblower Claims Many U.S. Interpreters Can't Speak Afghan Languages
Says Translators Failed Language Tests, Were Still Embedded With US Troops In Afghanistan
Sept. 8, 2010
More than one quarter of the translators working alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan failed language proficiency exams but were sent onto the battlefield anyway, according to a former employee of the company that holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion to supply interpreters to the U.S. Army.
[Paul] Funk outlined his claims in a whistleblower lawsuit unsealed earlier this year against Mission Essential Personnel, saying the company turned a blind eye to cheating on language exams taken over the phone and hired applicants even though they failed to meet the language standards set by the Army and spelled out in the company's contract. He alleges that 28 percent of the linguists hired between November 2007 and June 2008 failed to meet the government's language requirements.
"There are many cases where soldiers have gone out into the field and have spoken to elders [who] handed messages to the interpreter that a possible ambush three miles up the road would occur. The interpreter cannot read the message and they are attacked," Funk said. "We're talking about soldiers lives here."
Thanks again, W!
Blackwater/Xe, Parsons, KBR... and now Mission Essential Personnel.

This is what happens when GOP ideologues insist that the "miracle of the market" guarantees that private contractors can do better than the Government providing BASIC SERVICES IN WARTIME!

Opportunities for culture: current & up-coming

Moby Dick
Now - 26 September.
The Filling Station (Mother Road Theater Company; 1024 4th St. NW)
[note: rec'd glowing review in ABQ Journal]

9 Sep - 26 September.
The Cell (Fusion Theatre Company; 700 1st St. NW)
[note: Fusion is the only Equity company in town!]

17 Sep - 10 Oct.
Albuquerque Little Theater (224 San Pasquale SW)
505-242-4750, ext. 2

L'Italiana in Algeri ("Italian Girl in Algiers", Rossini)
2, 8, 10 October
Kimo Theater (Opera Southwest; 421 Central Avenue NW)

Support local live theater!
(... and, no: I'm not involved with any of these productions)

another hope dashed

Friend Nameless Cynic opines:
If party leadership is Palin's most viable path to the White House, we can all breathe easily. It's too late for Sarah Palin to remake herself as the natural leader of the Republican Party. She's not even the undisputed head of the conservative wing of the GOP.
I doubt Palin will ever run for office again. She clearly prefers being a celebrity without portfolio.
... and here the only thing giving me hope for 2012 was the prospect of a Palin/Beck GOP ticket!

... tho' I can't fault Cynic's analysis, I can still pin my hopes on the primary process: Palin just might have the celebrity & "mama grizzliness" to dominate in GOP primaries... (well, I can hope...)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A modest proposal... er, plea

To: news outlets - national & local, major & minor
Subj: Dove Outreach Center's "Burn a Koran" day

A plea: Don't cover the event.
Send no reporters, no cameramen.

Aside: citizens of Gainesville (oh, and rest of the U.S.): don't go to the event.
If you must go, don't take your iPhones, camcorders, or any other visual recording device (this would include your 35mm SLR camera!).

Let Pastor Jones burn Korans.
Give him NO PUBLICITY!!!

[... after all, Gen. Petraeus and everybody else emphasizes that it is the propect of viral YouTube vids and other internet-enabled communications providing images of the event that will inflame the Muslim world. So: generate no images!]

Yeah, I know: this is wildly impractical.
Even if the news orgs decided to not cover the event, and if almost everyone stayed home... there's still Pastor Jones's congregation - and they'll almost certainly film it!

Uh-oh: I think I might agree with Sharron Angle!

[radio talk-show host, Bill] MANDERS: You know I talk often about this oath that they give and it is to defend the Constitution and all that. But one of the things that is very important to me in this oath that they give is that they will defend against foreign and domestic enemies.

[Nev. Rep. candidate for U.S. Senate, Sharron] ANGLE: Yes. Yes.

MANDERS: We have domestic enemies. We have home-born homegrown enemies in our system. And I for one think we have some of those enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress.

ANGLE: Yes. I think you're right, Bill.
[The Plum Line, By Greg Sargent, August 24, 2010; emphasis added]
Hmmm... domestic enemies & home-grown enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress?
Well - yes... particularly in the context of the "oath that they give to defend the Constitution"!

Oh, wait - that's not what Sharron Angle meant!
She clarified her agreement today:
ABC NEWS: Do we have enemies of the country inside the walls of Congress?

ANGLE: Certainly people who pass these kinds of policies -- Obamacare, cap and trade, stimulus, bailout -- they're certainly not friends to the free market system.
[The Plum Line By Greg Sargent, September 7, 2010; emphasis added]
Oh - she's talking about folks who are "not friends of the free market system".

Okay, I've scanned several of my copies of the U.S. Constitution.
Where exactly is "the free market system" mentioned?
I can't find it.

I DO find references to...
establishing justice,
ensuring domestic tranquility,
providing for the common defense,
promoting the general welfare,
securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves & our posterity.
But not one word about the free-market system.

Seems the folks who've made a religion out of the free-market system have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, those bits about justice, the general welfare, and the BLESSINGS of liberty.
... and it's those folks who've deified the free-market who are the real domestic enemies and home-grown enemies of We the People!

The other one that got away...

From long ago:
A stroll down memory lane
Mullah Omar tells Afghans Taliban are winning
Yep: Mullah Omar is still at large, nine years after W promised,
"They will try to hide, they will try to avoid the United States and our allies - but we're not going to let them. They run to the hills; they find holes to get in. And we will do whatever it takes to smoke them out and get them running, and we'll get them."

Just for fun

From a loyal reader:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yeah, it's a really bad idea... BUT!

Pressure rises on pastor who wants to burn Quran
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer
7 Sep 2010
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The government turned up the pressure Tuesday on the head of a small Florida church who plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, warning him that doing so could endanger U.S. troops and Americans everywhere.
First let me be clear: I think this fundie pastor's plan is abhorrent.

BUT: That bit about the government "warning him that doing so could endanger U.S. troops" reminds me a lot of Nixon/Agnew rhetoric used against anti-war protestors in the '60s and '70s: that anti-war protests gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

It's about US. To the extent that burning Qurans is symbolic speech - and it's hard to interpret it otherwise - it is protected under the First Amendment.
For the government to attempt to restrict this speech is wrong.
Flag-burning is likewise fully protected symbolic speech.

Again, I'd hope that Pastor Terry Jones would reconsider his plans, but if he doesn't, it's his right!

NM in the news

From Think Progress:
NM Corrections Secretary Refusing To Penalize Contract-Breaching Private Prison Company He Used To Work For

Friday, September 3, 2010

Now, who's fault is this?

Fewer Young Voters See Themselves as Democrats
Why can't Dems communicate?

A couple of references suggest themselves.
Reference #1:
"If a person can't communicate, the least he can do is to shut up!"
[Tom Lehrer]
Reference #2:

Recall: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias!" (Stephen Colbert)
In the reality-based, data-supported world the DEMS have by far the better message! - WHY DO DEMS NOT COMMUNICATE THIS MESSAGE???

Thursday, September 2, 2010

simply unbelievable... [update... #2]

White House considering major tax breaks for businesses, sources say
By Lori Montgomery
Thursday, September 2, 2010; 6:23 PM
Washington Post
With the recovery faltering less than two months before the November congressional elections, President Obama's economic team is considering another big dose of stimulus in the form of tax breaks for businesses - potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars, according to two people familiar with the talks.
Recall: U.S. corporations today have more cash-on-hand than at any time since WWII.

Are they using the cash to build production capability?
Are they using the cash to hire folks?

How, exactly, will letting 'em keep even MORE money be stimulative???

Commenter Nance implies maybe I ought to read the whole article, not just lead paragraph, before launching into knee-jerk response. The tax-cuts under consideration are targetted at small biz, and may just be stimulative...
... maybe next time.

Update #2:... still - given that current mess is demand-based (consumers aren't buying), the stimulative effect of tax-cuts for biz is at best secondary. tax-cuts for lower 90%-ile of individuals would put disposable $$$ in the hands of consumers, who would spend the $$$, increasing aggregate demand. This would provide DIRECT benefit...
Better still: EMPLOY FOLKS! Use govt $$$ on, e.g., infrastructure projects - directly creating JOBS. Give $$$ to local school districts to HIRE TEACHERS.
Just for fun: visit a local National Park or National Monument. More than likely the visitor's center & all the trails were built by CCC in the 1930s - a federal "make work" program... with lasting benefits to us all!
Just for fun #2: getting around Albuquerque is made much easier by existence of I-40 & I-25... part of Interstate Highway system built with fed $$$ starting in the 1950s under that radical pinko Eisenhower.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

... just chatting

i note that i consider myself fairly liberal...
... BUT: most of the folks to whom i link make me look like a reactionary Tea Party member!